Evaluating Job Offers

Congratulations! You have completed the interview process and have been selected as the top candidate for the position! Before accepting any job offer, it is important to take a moment to evaluate the position and your compensation package.

Some important considerations include

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Salary

    • Compensation is only ONE factor in an ideal job offer, though it is often considered the most important. Take a look at our salary resources for help evaluating your offer and tips on negotiating salary.
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Benefits

    • Examine the compensation packet carefully and don't hesitate to ask the HR representative questions about vacation, dental, medical, optical and retirement benefits. Also consider "perks" such as bonuses, paid lunches, flex time, professional development funding, etc.
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Location

    • On average, bay area employees spend approximately one hour commuting daily. If commuting is an issue for you, take this into account in your overall evaluation of the offer. Research whether the employer is accessible via bus, BART, or train/shuttle.
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Work/Life Balance

    • What will your expected work schedule be? Many companies now offer telecommuting or flexible work hours. Find out what options are open to you and weigh these with your preferred lifestyle.
    • Will you be required to work overtime? If so, will you be compensated? Most organizations will not pay overtime for salaried employees but many will offer "comp time" or break-time for project teams.
    • If you are expected to work overtime, inquire about how often it will happen; are there peak times for overtime?
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Professional Development

    • Will your career growth be supported and encouraged? Does the employer have a policy on helping with continuing education costs (a master’s degree, technical training, writing courses, etc.)?
    • Is there room to grow within the company? How often will your performance be reviewed and does this include a salary review?
    • Will there be opportunities to work on challenging projects that will enable you to use skills and abilities that best reflect your strengths?
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Office Culture

    • Consider the environment you will be working in: Your boss, co-workers, and the overall focus and drive of a company will greatly impact your happiness, productivity, and success in an organization.

A Quick Word about Job Offer Ethics

Accepting a job offer can be an exciting and happy time.  But what happens if you accept a job offer and another better opportunity comes along? Keep in mind the following things:

    • You have made a commitment to an organization. Think about how you would feel if the organization offered you a position and then called you to say “a better candidate became available, and we have decided to hire him/her instead.”Reneging on a job offer is no different.
    • Silicon Valley is a small place. You never know when you will bump into that hiring manager or recruiter again. Protect your reputation by honoring your commitment.
    • Still feeling torn? In an unusual situation? Contact the Career Center. We are happy to help you talk through your options.